Money Mensch

Insulate a home and earn £100 from energy firms

By Martin Lewis, March 1, 2012

Energy providers all have "Carbon Emission Reduction Targets" aimed at tough-to-reach groups, which means if they don't pump the cash out they get big fines.

Up to £300-worth of cavity wall and loft insulation is being doled out by energy companies - both Eon and Tesco do it even if you are not their customer.

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Hot tips for a cheap Summer holiday

By Martin Lewis, February 23, 2012

Good holiday money-saving is all about timing. The key to minimum cost and maximum holiday enjoyment is pre-planning. Here are my top 10 need-to-know-nows if you are heading abroad:

● You need insurance in place when you book

Otherwise if something goes wrong, you won't be covered for cancellation.

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European health insurance

By Martin Lewis, February 16, 2012

The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gets you treatment in state-run EU hospitals at the same price as locals. It can get you free or discounted medical care in all 27 EU countries, plus a few others.

So if it is free for them then it is free for you, if they pay you pay. Yet many cards are lapsing - four million are due to expire this year.

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Cash for phones

By Martin Lewis, February 2, 2012

There are so many television adverts for mobile phone-buying websites offering cash for old handsets. But the price they pay varies daily, based on the company and the phone. For example, on one day the same 16GB iPhone4 in good condition could earn between £114.07 and £255 (for top condition).

So it really is worth a rummage through your drawers to see if your old handset is worth anything.

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Money myths, separate fact from fiction

By Martin Lewis, January 26, 2012

Did you know that you accidentally swallow eight spiders a year in your sleep? Or that you only use 10 per cent of your brain? Fortunately, these are not true. They are urban myths.
But there are worse myths abound in the money world, which can be dangerous as they lead to bad decision making.

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It's time to haggle

By Martin Lewis, January 19, 2012

We will barter with the best in a holiday market but on home turf many become complacent and cowardly, thinking that haggling is rude. Yet when demand is low, companies prefer to reduce prices than lose custom.

Right now, when sales are still on, the high-street is open to reductions.

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Make your new year's resolutions count

By Candice Krieger, January 12, 2012

Is it wrong to admit a secret love of January? For one month only, being savvy with cash becomes sexy. People lust to sit down and tackle bills. So let me take advantage of this and suggest the key money-saving resolutions that could save thousands.

● I resolve to… properly assess my finances

I am sure you know how much you earn but do you know how much you spend each year?

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Be quick on returns

By Martin Lewis, January 5, 2012

Chanucah is over and you may have a drawer full of tat you want to return.

In my last column, I wrote about your return rights but, with the January sales now upon us, here are a couple of points that you must understand when taking things back.

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My gift: a lesson in the law of returns

By Martin Lewis, December 15, 2011

With Chanucah and Christmas coinciding this year, if you're buying for yourself, family and colleagues, the list could be serious. Far too many people throw cash away thinking "I can always exchange it later".

Often that's just wrong. Shops can be sticklers at this time of year, so the only way to protect your pocket is bone up on your legal consumer rights.

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Activate paid-for bank accounts

By Martin Lewis, December 8, 2011

I've never been a big fan of bank accounts that charge you up to £25 a month just to have them. Yet, in some cases, the additional travel, mobile and breakdown cover they give offers real benefits.

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